ORC ups its insurance

Fallout from the Rena grounding off Tauranga's coast has led the Otago Regional Council to nearly triple its insurance cover for harbour incidents.

The regional council's insurance had been reviewed by a broker for the 2014-15 year with a 2.7% decrease in its premiums, mostly due to its staff's good record on the roads, corporate services director Wayne Scott said.

While the council had sought more insurance cover for its harbour master role and wreck removal cover, it was offset by a decrease in the cost of premiums for vehicle and fidelity cover, he said.

The council had increased its harbour master and wreck insurance from $7.5 million to the maximum available of $20 million to cover for any ''Rena-type'' incidents.

Rena was a container ship which ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef two and a-half years ago, spilling fuel, oil and debris into the sea.

Given the type of harbour and shipping activity Otago had, he believed the cover was adequate, Mr Scott told a committee meeting recently.

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